Update Drupal 7 using SSH

This is my own tutorial so I don’t forget for the future.  Stole directly from http://drupal.org/node/297496 with modifications for my useage.  I currently use dreamhost and enjoy their SSH access to the servers my sites are hosted on.

UPDATE: I now added Drush to my SSH access so you only need to run one command to backup and update.

$drush pm-update

The following is for those with limited SSH or access to the host only via web/ftp.

Prepare your site

  1. Switch Drupal into Off-line mode so that visitors do not access the site while the upgrade is happening and encounter various errors.
  2. Ensure that you are logged into the site as the main administrator account (user ID 1). You cannot run the update.php file near the end of the process unless you are logged in as the administrator user. If you forget to log in first before running update.php, the page will inform you of the step to take to regain access.

Backup your site

Next back up the full site, both the files as well as the database. Never upgrade without backing up. Ever. Here are the basic commands needed for a quick manual backup:

  1. First make a directory with today’s date in your backups folder (create the backups folder first if you haven’t made one yet). Ensure that this folder is not accessible to the web:
    mkdir /home/yoursitename/backups/08-17-08
  2. Now backup the database (customize with your directory paths and info):
    mysqldump --user=username --password=password --host=drupal_database > /home/yoursitename/backups/08-17-08/yoursite_db.sql
  3. Next backup your site’s files (again, customize as needed):
    tar -czvpf /home/yoursitename/backups/08-17-08/yoursite.tar.gz /home/yoursitename/public_html

Upgrade your site

  1. Navigate to your site’s root directory (the following commands from this point are to be run while you are in the root directory of your site):
    cd /home/yoursitename/public_html
  2. First make a temporary folder to hold Drupal’s old files/folders until you’re certain that the upgrade has completed successfully (doing this extra step instead of deleting the old files right off can be helpful in an emergency, since it makes it quick and easy to undo things back to normal if the upgrade fails for some reason, rather than bothering with extracting the whole backup):
    mkdir d-backup
  3. Next paste in the following command which moves all of Drupal’s files and folders, besides your personal ones (such as the /sites and /files folders), into the temporary d-backupfolder. The .htaccess and robots.txt files are not included in the move since it’s possible that you’ve customized them (however if not, feel free to add them to the list):
    Drupal 7:

    mv authorize.php CHANGELOG.txt COPYRIGHT.txt cron.php includes index.php INSTALL.mysql.txt INSTALL.pgsql.txt install.php INSTALL.sqlite.txt INSTALL.txt LICENSE.txt MAINTAINERS.txt misc modules profiles scripts themes update.php UPGRADE.txt web.config xmlrpc.php d-backup

  4. Check Drupal.org’s home page to get the download link for the latest version of Drupal (or simply adjust the number in the command below). Generally you can safely upgrade from your current version of Drupal to any version within the same release (for example 6.1 to 6.4), though reading the UPGRADE.txt files for each version ahead of time is advised, just in case. However extra caution/preparation is required upgrading between major releases (for example 5.x to 6.x). Some web hosts do not support the wget command so the alternate curlcommand is also listed (if neither are supported, resort to FTP).
    Using wget:
    wget http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-7.20.tar.gz
  5. Extract the downloaded file (it will create its own sub-folder for the files, so don’t worry about it getting mixed up with your own files). This command assumes you only have one downloaded copy of Drupal in the directory – if you have others, enter the full name to exact it instead of using the wildcard character:
    tar -xzvpf drupal-*
  6. Go into the newly created sub-directory:
    cd drupal-*
  7. Run the following command to move the new Drupal files out of the folder they were extracted into and into place in the root directory of your site. This moves “only” the same files and folders which you moved into the d-backup folder, preserving all of your personal files and folders (e.g. the /sites and /files directories) The ../ at the end is what tells the command to move the data up one level in the folder structure, into your site’s root directory:

    Drupal 7:
    mv authorize.php CHANGELOG.txt COPYRIGHT.txt cron.php includes index.php INSTALL.mysql.txt INSTALL.pgsql.txt install.php INSTALL.sqlite.txt INSTALL.txt LICENSE.txt MAINTAINERS.txt misc modules profiles scripts themes update.php UPGRADE.txt web.config xmlrpc.php ../
  8. Return to your site’s root directory:
    cd ..
  9. If you had any extra files which you placed into Drupal core folders (for instance jquery.js into the /misc folder in the case of having the jQuery Update module installed), you can quickly restore them into place using commands as well. Very few modules ask you to put files outside of the modules directory, so this may never be a step you need to do. Here are several common examples:
    cp sites/all/modules/jquery_update/jquery.js misc/jquery.js
    cp sites/all/modules/image/image.imagemagick.inc includes/image.imagemagick.inc
  10. Lastly, go to example.com/update.php in your web browser and follow the instructions to update the database within a few clicks. Do not adjust any of the drop-down menus under the “Select versions” fieldset; simply run update.php. You can go to Administer > Logs > Status report (Drupal 5) or Administer > Reports > Status report (Drupal 6 and 7) to confirm your Drupal version.

Clean up temporary files/folders and restore access to your site

  1. Now that the upgrade has completed successfully, go ahead and delete the temporary d-backup folder (remember you still have your “real” backup file in case you need it). Also delete the tar.gz copy of Drupal which you downloaded and the drupal-* folder it was extracted into. To do this all in one step, run this command (only if you do not have any files or folders the name of which begins with drupal- that you want to keep, as this will immediately delete them all):
    rm -rf d-backup drupal-*
  2. Many Drupal site admins prefer to delete the various .txt files (such as UPGRADE.txt, README.txt, etc) in the root directory of their Drupal sites (often because these files easily reveal the currently-installed version of Drupal to the public). Feel free to delete every .txt file from your Drupal installation directory besides robots.txt. If you perform this deletion, adjust the “mv” (move) commands from steps 3 and 7 to no longer include these files during future upgrades.
  3. When done, you can re-enable Drupal for the public again at Administer > Site configuration > Site maintenance (admin/settings/site-maintenance). You should test the site to ensure that everything works as expected.

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